In July 2020, we took a look at our lives. There were three things keeping us from moving forward - rural living, natural disasters, and not enough money. This led us to a big project that began in July 2020 and is ongoing: Moneyball for cities. 83 places. 43 data points. And our new home.
We were living in Sonoma County, CA when becoming parents collided with climate change. A fire burned down my business (a comedy festival) just four months after we became parents. Subsequently, there were three other area fires and a flood (5 ½’ of water at our house).
In 2017, we went from a two income family to a one income family who couldn’t afford childcare and was tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
July 2020, we did a dream board. We clearly saw what we wanted and that we were fighting uphill living where we were. We found five important interest areas that we wanted to measure in places nationwide: arts vibrancy, home value, family friendliness, land availability and freedom of use, and climate comfort and resilience. We found @SMUDataArts Arts Vibrancy Index, and along with other sources of data, we made a list of 83 places and 43 data points.
We came up with a ranking system and additional criteria - our new home must be less than two hours from a significant airport, must have a lower cost of living than where we were, and must be more populous, among other things.
The finalists: Austin, Nashville, Durham, Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Richmond, New Orleans, Minneapolis & St. Paul, Denver, Kansas City, Charlottesville, Tucson, San Diego, Tacoma, Albuquerque, Asheville, Bremerton (WA), Charleston, Salt Lake City, Silver Spring (MD).
We decided that this move would allow us to have the second child we wanted. We got me pregnant via IVF @PFC_Fertility, DIY renovated our entire house to prep it for sale, and moved to Nashville exactly one month before the birth of our son in July.
So what had been standing in our way? Rural living - we’re done! The cavalcade of wildfires & floods - done with that! Now we’re working on that last one - bringing in more money.
My husband is on the job hunt, I’m starting small until the kiddos can be vaccinated with a business snowball, and mid-2022 I start a game-changing job that must remain secret (for now!)
Nashville is exceeding our expectations. Rich with culture and history and on the precipice of major investment and development. Different from more established cities like NYC & L.A., there’s a sense of excitement and optimism here around what this city will become.
We’re developing a course out of our Moneyball for cities to help you identify what is important to you and find a place that will best set you up for success.
Thanks for reading. Join the mailing list here or follow me @BrookeTansley so that you’ll know when our Moneyball for cities is ready.